Dear INSARAG Community,

The INSARAG New-Year Teleconference meeting on 27 January 2021 recommended the creation of a new Flexible Response Working Group (FRWG) to ensure global alignment and quality assurance in the development of INSARAG’s position on three key areas defined as Beyond the Rubble (BtR) work that INSARAG can undertake, and/or following any international request for lifesaving response and specific specialised assistance beyond that of collapsed structure rescue. 

The Flexible Response Working Group (FRWG) will  comprise of three sub-Working Groups looking specifically at the three respective key areas for the network  to:

  1. Develop a global INSARAG position on Flexible (Operational) Response, based on the drafted Regional Position Papers on this topic in 2020. The scope of the global position on Flexible Response can also encompass the response beyond collapsed structures and earthquakes, as some regions have already implemented this successfully;
  1. Develop the Damage Assessment Coordination Centre (DACC) guidelines and methodology;
  1. Review the draft UNESCO Guidelines on Response to Cultural Heritage and draft an INSARAG Technical Guidance Note on “INSARAG’s Response to Cultural Heritage Sites”.

We would like to encourage the global network to consider the nomination of suitable and qualified members to the Flexible Response Working Group. Kindly find attached the draft Terms of Reference (ToRs), prepared in consultation with the Global and Regional Chairs. 

You will also access an application form to propose suitable experts from your countries to be considered as members of the Working Group (WG), where they can express their particular interest in the main or specific sub-Working Group. As the topics are wide-ranging, relevant humanitarian network partners, regional organisations, NGOs and qualified experts endorsed by their INSARAG Focal points are encouraged to apply. The deadline for nominating candidates is 30 April 2021. Following that, the Secretariat will consult with the Regional Chairs and make a selection of their regional representatives, including the Co-Chairs.

Kindly note that members are currently expected to meet virtually and when travel restrictions allow, they may be required to attend up to 2 meetings annually for up to 5 days each. Participation costs have to be covered by their respective agencies. The first physical meeting is proposed to take place back-to-back with the Team Leaders meeting in October 2021 in Warsaw, Poland, when this is confirmed. Engagements across other working groups to exchange ideas are also expected.  

We thank you in advance for your strong support as always and look forward to your continued commitment to this important area of work for the INSARAG community. 

More information and application links are in the attached draft document. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have further questions.

Thank you.

For Draft ToR – Flexible Response WG, please click on this LINK.

For Annex A: INSARAG New-Year Teleconference Chairman’s Summary (includes Summary of regional positions on Flexible Response)

For Annex B: Draft UNESCO Field Guidelines for USAR at Heritage Sites

For Annex C: Draft FRWG Timeline
For Annex D: FRWG Application form